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Project-Based Learning Opportunities

  Is your son itching to learn everything about, well... everything?

•  Does he love to take things apart and is constantly looking for a new project to build, but you don't think he's quite ready to simply be turned loose with all your tools?

•  Does he want more welding practice, but you don't have a welder yet? 

If any of that sounds familiar, then you're in the right place:

I'm now offering a limited number of spots for what I'm calling Project-Based Classes. These are unique opportunities where your son can come work with me as we tackle real-world handyman projects... together.
Your son will get to observe & be involved in how I do things like:

•   Assessing a project
•   Planning and sketching
•   Problem-solving
•   Materials selection, often including creative substitutions
•   Working hard and smart
•   Working with a multitude of hand and power tools, depending on project scope
•    Selection and use of various types of hardware

He'll also get to DO a lot of the work himself!

Your son will get to share in the feeling of accomplishment as he hones his handyman skills by actually building or fixing something in the real world. The projects we will do together are things that my family will actually put to use.

Even future How-To Class students will get to enjoy and admire several of these projects, long after they're completed!


Because these are real-life projects that solve real-world problems, most of them are things that I'm only planning to do once, and never again. So each project will be a unique opportunity for your son to apply special skills in a different situation.

The fact that these are real-life projects also means that if no one signs up for a particular project by a certain date, I will go ahead and complete the project on my own. My family is looking forward to actually USING the things that will be accomplished in these projects. :)
Here are the projects I currently have available:
Click on the pictures below to jump straight down to a detailed description of that project, or just scroll down to read all of them.
Wrought Iron styled Towel Bars
Cutting, Welding, Grinding, Drilling, Painting + more
Trailer Tie Down Anchor Points
Plasma Cutting, Die Grinding
DIY Chimney Fire Pit
Plasma Cutting, Welding, Grinding, Sand Blasting + more
Building Jacking & Leveling
Structure Leveling, Heavy Duty Jacks, Skillsaw + more

And here are detailed descriptions and videos/photos for each project:
Wrought Iron Towel Bars

We're updating our bathroom to include some wrought iron style fixtures. Your son can learn how to make them too while honing his welding skills!

Minimum prerequisite class: Beginner Welding Class

Skills involved: Measuring & Layout, Cutting (metal chop saw and band saw), Drilling (drill press), Welding, Grinding, Sand Blasting, Painting, and more.

Trailer Tie Down Anchor Points

This utility trailer that my Grandpa Tom built from scratch decades ago is incredibly useful—but I have long wished to make one change to it: Adding anchor points for strapping loads down. Watch the video to see me explain the problem, and the simple solution that will be very fun for your son to help implement!

(Spoiler Alert! This project involves using electricity to transform air into the 4th state of matter—that's right: we get to use a Plasma Torch!!!)

Minimum prerequisite class: Beginner Welding Class

Skills involved: Measuring & Layout, Grinding, Plasma Cutting, Air Die Grinding, and more.

DIY Chimney Fire Pit

We'll be transforming a recycled water pressure tank + a piece of scrap pipe into a charming chimney-style fire pit for the back yard!
S'mores, anyone?

Minimum prerequisite class: Beginner Welding Class

Skills involved: Measuring & Layout, Plasma Cutting, Welding, Grinding, Sand Blasting, and more.

Jacking and Leveling a Small Building

The goal of this project is to replace the temporary posts & beams under this storage shed with the type of foundation you'd see under small decks: concrete pier blocks with short 4x6 posts, and large beams spanning the width of the shed. It will all be tied together with rim joists and steel framing straps.

To accomplish this, we'll need to use an ancient leveling technology that was used long before the laser level even existed.

As a bonus, you and your son will receive access to my online video instructions on how to make your own set of Water Leveling Tubes (that are better than the kind you can buy these days) using standard garden hose repair parts.

Minimum prerequisite class: NONE!

Skills involved: Measuring & Layout, Structure Leveling, Heavy Duty Jacking, Cutting (Skillsaw), Screwing (Drill & Screwgun), Hammering, and more.


Q: Are you just making these projects up so that my son can practice his handyman skills?

A: Nope! These are real-life projects that my family is going to put to use once completed. Either someone's boy(s) will get to come enjoy doing it with me, or I'll get it done myself if no one jumps onto the schedule for it within a certain limited time frame. (My wife is really looking forward to these things getting done! ;)

Q: Are you going to use my son for slave labor?

A: Only if you want me to (just kidding). My goal is to help all the younger versions of myself that are out in the world learn everything that I've gotten to learn, but about 10-15 years earlier than I learned it.

Q: What if you don't finish the project during the time frame my son is scheduled for?

Glad you asked! It will honestly depend upon the project, and how close we're getting to the deadline for when my family needs/wants to start using the item we're building or repairing.

I actually expect most projects to take longer than a single 2 or 3 hour session to complete (especially since I'll be focusing on more than simply completing the project: I'll also be taking some extra time to explain things, keep everyone safe, let the boys do things at the speed they're capable of vs. the speed of a more-experienced person, etc.).

Some projects will get completed during our time together, while others will be only partially completed when your scheduled time slot runs out. In those cases, either I'll finish it up later myself, or save it for another boy to come work on it with me.

(Hint: If you REALLY want your son to be able to see one of these projects all the way through, you can contact me and we'll schedule out all of the time slots that will be necessary for that project. Note: Pricing will be on a per-time slot basis).  

Q: Can you guarantee that the time slot my son schedules with you will be at the beginning of that particular project?

A: Unfortunately, no. But if your son is coming in mid-way through a project, I'll make sure he understands what took place before he arrived, and what (if anything) remains to be done on it after he leaves.

Also, after each project is completed, every boy that worked on that particular project will receive special online access to videos and/or photo footage of themselves (and possibly others) working on that project. These will also include occasional instructional segments from me, and other helpful resource information related to that project and the skills that were involved.

Q: What if my son has a project he'd like to work on using your tools and advice (you know, like fancy towel racks for OUR family's bathroom? ;) Are you open to outside projects?

A: That's a definite possibility! Give me a call at (509) 780-6789 or email me at and we can evaluate together whether your project is something that your son could bring over to get my help with.

Got A Question For Me?

If you're confused about something, or have a suggestion on additional projects you think would be helpful to add to this page, please email me at: I personally read and respond to every email.
I'll see you at class! :)